China sets up Windows and Linux labs

A two-China policy may be unthinkable in Beijing, but a two-licence policy seems more palatable, as the country signs up HP and Microsoft to establish a couple of very different labs

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft have separately reached agreements with the Chinese government to develop, respectively, open-source and Windows software.

On 11 March, HP signed an agreement with the Ministry of Information Industry of China to set up a Linux laboratory, as part of the country's Public Service Platform Initiative. The joint laboratory will work as an open platform for open-source software development, testing and certification, to support small and medium-sized Chinese enterprises.

Over the next three years HP will deliver 200m yuan (£13m) worth of software and hardware, including high-end servers and networking connections, to build the Linux laboratory.

Also on 11 March, the same ministry reached agreement with Microsoft to build its platform and embedded software labs for the National Software and ICs Public Service Platform.

According to the agreement, Microsoft, under the guidance of the ministry and in cooperation with its partners, will establish the Windows.Net-based technology labs as part of the National Software and Integrated Circuits Public Service Platform. Microsoft will work with both Chinese and international IT companies to build the labs and serve a large number of small and medium-sized Chinese software companies and computer users in China.